20 April, 2019

Blog

US Veto: Palestine Torn Between Trump’s Arrogance & Arab Indifference

By Mohamed Harees

Lukman Harees

People who call themselves supporters of Israel are actually supporters of its moral degeneration and ultimate destruction.” ~ Noam Chomsky

It was an irony of fate that after two weeks, Trump’s unilateral decision on Jerusalem was dumped into the dustbin by the rest of the UN Security Council. The US was left isolated and forced to use its veto after all other 14 members of the UN Security Council, including US’ allies, voted unanimously for a Resolution condemning this high-handed decision. The Resolution called Trump’s declaration “null and void” under international law, but the measure ultimately failed after the US exercised its veto power. Nevertheless ,the unanimity of the rest of the Council was a stark rebuke to the Trump administration over its unilateral move, which upended decades of international consensus and which illustrated how the US position on Jerusalem was far outside the international consensus. 

This whole episode sadly highlights how the power of one arrogant veto can undermine the consensus among the rest even within the UN Security Council (UNSC) itself, let alone global consensus. Incidentally, in the past this curse of the veto has been haunting the world at large due to the self-centered policies of the big 5 veto wielding powers- the US, UK, France, China and the USSR, which enables them to withhold UN Security Council authorisation when it affects them, thus paralysing the very purpose of the UNSC. Particularly like in this case, it also clearly showcases the arrogance of the US which calls itself the sole global super power to act at will ,seeing itself as having little regard for international consensus or need for the UN and international law, like the invasion of Iraq by Bush on flimsy grounds of WMD along with his poodle Blair. During this sitting of the UNSC on the Jerusalem issue, the US ambassador to the UN, Nikki Haley who felt like a cornered animal, too used arrogant language to stress that no-one can dictate terms to them,  describing the resolution as “an insult” and warning that it would not be forgotten. 

Algiers Rally

The world had to bear the brunt and the risk of the Cold War, on the heels of the WWII. John Lewis Gaddis concludes in his book ‘The Cold War’, ‘it began with a return of fear and ended in a triumph of hope’, an unusual trajectory for great historical upheavals’. Regretfully this expectation of hope remains unfulfilled to this day, as the world had to deal with an arrogant sole super power the US in the Post-Cold War era, whose sense of ‘American Exceptionalism’ has made the world a much worse place to live in, of course with the threat of consequential terrorism and their intervention in affairs of other countries in their assumed role as the ‘global policeman’. However, America seldom realizes that the age of their exceptionalism is over, as being time and again proved in the Trump era and as stated in an article on ‘Time for a New Destiny’ by Godfrey Hodgson. (15/11/2010), ‘In a world of car-bombs and improvised explosive devices (IEDs), of globalization and wage competition, of asymmetrical campaigns and multi-polar relationships, of transforming identities and rising ambitions, Americans have as yet understood even less than their fellow westerners the emerging strength of the weak and the weakness of the strong’. No longer is there much appetite for America playing its long-standing role of global policeman, even in the face of the rise of terrorist groups like ISIS.

Tom Engelhardt in an article on ‘Donald Trump Might Set a Record—for the Biggest Decline of American Power in History’(The Nation-13/06/2017) asks the question: When the Trump years come to an end, will the United States be a pariah nation? and says, President Trump, in real time, tweet by tweet, speech by speech, sword dance by sword dance, intervention by intervention, act by act, in the process of dismantling the system of global power—of “soft power,” in particular, and of alliances of every sort—by which the United States made its will felt, made itself a truly global hegemony.

World leaders nowadays seem prepared to provoke the wrath of the White House, confident that it will never rain down on them. Nor America’s both allies like the EU/ NATO and adversaries including North Korea’s little rocket man Kim (as Trump calls him), Syrian President Bashar al-Assad, or even  Tehran , no longer fear them. Galtung’s in his 2009 book, ‘The Fall of the American Empire—and then What?’ sets out a whopping 15 “synchronizing and mutually reinforcing contradictions” afflicting the US, which he says will lead to US global power ending by 2020—within just four years. Galtung warned that during this phase of decline, the US was likely to go through a phase of reactionary “fascism”. For Galtung, Trump’s incoherent policy proposals are evidence of the deeper structural decline of US power.

In this context, Trump’s policy declarations – expressed with such boisterousness and blithe disregard for the consequences that it is hard not to be enraged as a Muslim – disqualifies the US as an arbitrary peace-broker in the Middle East and has put the near-finality stamp on their fast declining clout in the region. Trump, like the past administrations in Washington also has a notorious weakness for autocrats and dictators. They regularly had less than no respect for democracy if the will of the people seemed to stand in Washington’s way. This attitude is seen in Trump’s close relationships with the dictators in the Arab world. In this context , with Israel’s loyal Arab henchmen – Arab monarchs and leaders dressed in flowing silk garbs – brutally subjugating their own citizens and their Palestinian brothers at the behest of Israel, who does Israel have to fear?

The reason why observers are predicting that ‘like every other episode of heightened tension in the decades-old Palestine-Israeli conflict, the global opposition to Trump’s declaration will soon die down, the anger will dissipate, and – contrary to the much anticipated violence and bloodshed in the Middle East – it will do little more than agitate the Muslims he had intentionally sought to offend. That is largely due to Israel’s cavalcade of obsequious Arab leaders who tacitly support Israel for various reasons and continue to uphold the continued occupation of Palestinian lands.

As Faarah Adan correctly observes in a MEMO article on 11/12/17, ‘For repressive regimes whose very legitimacy and survival depends on the US, the multitude of Arab states could hardly oppose Trump. Other than mouthing the usual platitudes and paying lip service to the Palestinian cause or uttering some condemnations and denunciations to placate their angry public, there is little our weak-kneed Arab leaders could do to defy Trump’s decision or challenge Israel’s hegemony in the Middle East. They are impotent and toothless’. There were low level representation from Saudi, Egypt and UAE at the Organization of Islamic Cooperation(OIC) summit meeting in Istanbul on Jerusalem.

These Arab leaders will cautiously allow the Arab people to let off some steam by burning American and Israeli flags and hurling insults at the benighted Trump for crossing the red line as long as the people do not cross the red line themselves and will get back to their daily routines gradually. A theatrical performance Arab leaders have come to perfect over the decades in order to sedate the sentient public and assuage their fears with regard to Palestine. Besides, it has become clear that the Trump administration would not have dared to take this step, which violates the rights of Palestinians, Arabs and Muslims, if it didn’t receive the green light from some Arabs, or at least guarantees of silence by some Arab countries.

It was disgusting that Saudi Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman (MBS), supported by his pal Mohammed bin Zayed al-Nahyan, crown prince of Abu Dhabi, have formed strong ties with both Trump and Netanyahu. MBS also liaised closely with Jared Kushner, the president’s son-in-law whom Trump entrusted with the “ultimate” task to resolve the Israeli-Palestinian conflict. It was reported that MBS pressured Palestinian President Abbas, to accept unreasonable concessions as part of those efforts. In this context, the Saudis and their Arab allies along with US sold down the street the Arab/ Muslim interests for Israeli interests. There were news of pro-Palestine demonstrators in Algiers comparing Saudi Arabia’s king to the US president, calling them “two faces of the same coin”. Thus, torn between Trump’s arrogance and Arab indifference, the poor Palestinians continue to eke out a miserable living in the world’s largest prison filled with despondency.   

There were more stronger noises being made at the OIC summit in Istanbul calling for the world to recognise East Jerusalem as the Palestine’s capital. In the context of US Vetoing the UNSC resolution on Jerusalem, OIC Chair Erdogan, echoed by Palestinian leaders, also suggested that they would pursue a similar resolution in the United Nations General Assembly, where a simple majority would allow a non-binding resolution to pass. Even if a General Assembly resolution is non-binding, its potential passage would show overwhelming consensus in opposition to Trump. There is already a positive response from the UN and EU members opposing US’ Jerusalem move and to renew efforts to unify the world sans US and find an amicable settlement of this age-old Palestinian conflict. It will be up to the Palestinian leaders (PLO and Hamas) as well as OIC leaders to make use of this goodwill world-wide and facilitate this process at the global level. It is however sceptical that another Arab spring will come forth anytime soon, unless the Arab activists build up dynamism and momentum at the grass-root levels in the Arab societies through the social media outlets either to pressure their sycophant leaders or to replace them to enable them to represent the aspirations of their people as it could also be an incredible inspiration to Arab people in the ME, who are struggling under undemocratic regimes which the U.S. supports. Yasser Arafat  once said, ‘Palestine is the cement that holds the Arab world together, or it is the explosive that blows it apart’.

To the world, Palestine is the issue, and until this issue is resolved, there can be no peace and freedom for Palestine could be an incredible source of hope to people struggling all over the world.

Print Friendly, PDF & Email

Latest comments

  • 3
    0

    With the vote now scheduled in the UN General Assembly for 21 December, I hope the pro-western Sri Lankan government does not do something stupid and either abstain or vote against the Palestinian resolution.

    Sri Lanka sadly since JRJ, has abandoned their traditional support for the Palestinian people and is getting closer and closer to the brutal occupiers, Israel. Recent stories of asking Israel to upgrade the Kfir jets is clear evidence of that.

  • 5
    0

    Sri Lanka has no choice but to Abstain. The born again Evangelical former Sikh Namrita Randhawa the Accountant degree holder from Clemson University who now goes as Nikki Haley and a devout Christian said “US will be taking names” like Santa. So RW and My3 probably did choo in their underwear be they lunketts or amudeys or briefs or boxer shorts.

    If Sri Lanka votes in favor, it is hypocritical given its opposition to a separate nation for Tamils. And if it votes against it will piss off some people in the Middle East. But if it abstains or does not show up, it covers itself up and Aunty Namrita Sikh now Christian Randhawa now Haley will forgive us..

  • 1
    2

    Palestine was the name given to the original land of Israel (name change of Jacob) grandson of Abraham, name given by Roman Emperor Hadrian in 135 AD. Earlier Titus, Roman army commander later Emperor, burnt the city of Jerusalem and the Jewish Temple of worship on Temple Mount, King David’s threshing floor which he personally paid for. The mosques on Temple Mount were built much later but they still worship towards Mecca, while Jewish captives (Daniel) worshipped towards Jerusalem. Later even Christian church altars in the west pointed towards Jerusalem.

    • 0
      2

      This comment was removed by a moderator because it didn’t abide by our Comment policy.For more detail see our Comment policy https://www.colombotelegraph.com/index.php/comments-policy-2/

    • 1
      1

      Thank you for your history lesson but we are living in modern times. Modern Israel was a country created by ethnic cleansing of its indigenous people, Palestinian Arabs by mostly European Jews. What happened in 135 AD does not matter.

      • 3
        0

        Indigenous people of middle east are Sumerians, a dark skinned race who named their cities “UR”, and dammed rivers for irrigating agricultural fields. Both Jews and Arabs are immigrants into middle east. It is in history that Jews led by Moses settled down in and around Jerusalem, which is the birth place of Judaism. On the other hand Arabs committed ethnic cleansing of Sumerians and occupied Mesopotamia the present day Iraq. So Arabs are neither indigenous nor innocent as what you think. Yes we are living in modern times and modern Pakistan was a country created by ethnic cleansing of indigenous people Hindu Dravidians by mostly Central Asian Muslims. Justice has to be equal to everyone. What the God had determined will be the future of Jerusalem, no man can counter it.

    • 0
      2

      If you believe all those European origin Jews (90%) stories you are not a BELIEVER.

  • 5
    2

    The arrogance of Trump is breathtaking! His Ambassador at the UN has been asked to copy the names of countries who voted against US action on Palestine.it is hard to believe that in this day and age any country could address other countries in such a derogatory manner. It is high time the rest of the world formed an anti USA alliance. A broad based alliance to protect the rest of the world from USA is the need of the hour. The alliance should enable greater economic cooperation and ensure the security of the world from America. America has to be put in the dog house and the door locked.

    • 0
      0

      That is exactly the reason the BRIC alliance have to now not delay in making a final decision to implement efforts to come up with an action plan to deal with US intransigence.

  • 1
    2

    Hey Boy, when we say Jump you say “Yes Massah high High Massah want me to jump?” Otherwise we will take names and punish you. Atul Keshap will come personally spank you or put a rubber tube in your collective beggar nation’s rear. OBEY the USA; Mr. Trump will personally punish you if you vote for Hamas terrorist Palestine today. We command, you obey. You are the ones who need our help; we do not need your help. You beg us and you must do as you are ordered to today at the UN. Understood boy?

  • 2
    1

    It is not arrogance but is a pathetic form of Idi Amin idiocy.
    He is not threatening but is begging for help.
    Disgusting to see the man using Jerusalem to distract the home crowd.
    Amusing to see Nikki Haley doing the clumsy Dayan/Sanja.
    Lukman
    The compelling issue is the genocide of Rohingyas.

  • 3
    1

    A prudent Sri Lanka may have to abstain or vote against it. USA is Sri Lanka’s #1 or #2 Export market. With threats of punishment, SL might get hit by tariffs. So it is prudent to take the convenient way out and abstain. Real Politik as Chancellor Willy Brandt of West Germany used to say. Survival of SL is dependent on exports and not oil imports. Of course Saudi Arabia will not mind it either; SL has thousands of workers in the Middle East, but as Mr. Harees correctly says “they pay lip service”. Saudi Arabia is secretly working towards close ties with Israel via the USA. USA and Saudi Arabia has massive security and strategic partnerships; so on a matter like this, where it is simply a token vote, Saudi Arabia with its oil power can vote for a resolution and get away unscathed. Even Egypt which proposed the vote can get away with the “wink wink” because they too are strategic partners and big clients of weapons sold by the USA. In addition Egypt has thriving trade and diplomatic relationships with Israel, being only one of two Arab nations to recognize Israel’s right to exist as a nation. Real Politik. This is just a game. The anger and protests have dissipated already.

  • 1
    2

    Looks like Sri Lanka ended up voting for the resolution. There were 9 votes against and 35 abstaining nations. Two of those are Mexico and Canada, US’s biggest trading partners and immediate neighbors and old allies. Wonder if there will be some retaliation against SL now?

    • 2
      0

      SRI Lanka abstained. The safer, but cowardly option. The challenge for the world is to effectively undermine the economic strength of USA which it uses unashamedly to push its hegemonic aspirations globally.

      • 1
        0

        Percy, Sri Lanka voted in favour of the Resolution. Check your source again.

        • 1
          0

          Thappu, thanks for drawing my attention, and my apologies to all concerned including Mano RatwTte for the incorrect info. However I am glad that the govt showed some backbone here and it should continue to fight for the rights of the dispossessed in the Middle East. Of course there are apologists for the US like LANKA Don who believe that whAtever atrocity committed by USA should not be opposed as USA is soooooo. Rich !! Unbelievable !!

    • 2
      0

      Srilanka voted for the resolution, probably to get Russia to accept beetle flavoured tea.
      Against – Guatemala, Honduras, Israel, Marshall Islands, Nauru, Palau, Togo, USA
      Abstained – Antigua/Barbuda, Argentina, Australia, Bahamas, Benin, Bhutan, Bosnia, Cameroon, Canada, Columbia, Croatia, Czech, Dominica, Equatorial Guinea, Fiji, Haiti, Hungary, Jamaica, Kiribati, Latvia, Lesotho, Malawi, Mexico, Panama, Paraguay, Philipines, Poland, Romania, Rwanda, Solomon Islands, South Sudan, Trinidad/Tobago, Tuvalu, Uganda, Vanuatu.
      This is non binding resolution and will end up the same way as others

      • 0
        0

        Thanks, Al-faqurlah, for the comprehensive list.

        Now when will the Elections Commission give us a list of ALL the candidates at the Local Government Elections. The media usually gives us list of only the three or four leading groups, but I’d like to see all before deciding whom to vote for.

  • 4
    1

    Hats off to Sri Lanka for voting for the resolution. USA does not mean a damn thing to us anymore. Our trade with them is insignificant and is in decline forcing us to shift policy and trade seeking niche markets elsewhere in EU, Middle East, the Balkans, ex-soviet block, Austral-Asia and Canada. We must never stand by nations that support TERROR like the USA, Israel, Iran or Burma. Even if we have trade to lose, we might as well lose it in the name of international justice. The North Korean’s learned that lesson beginning of the last century. NK’s ‘juche’ (Self reliance) concept did not emerge out of wetlock knowing that Western imperialism’s aim is to destroy anything that oppose them. Also a damn good lesson for these Islamic nations like that of Iraq, Libya and Algeria for giving up their nuclear ambition. They got nothing in return that was promised to them but a death sentence from the West packaged as regime change, “Arab spring” or war on terror. The US and Zionistan’s next target is Iran and Pakistan. The nuclear route is the only bargaining chip that a nation has to ward off Western and Zionist aggression. Nimrata the Sikh born w*ore is going to get a spanking across her rear for this debacle. Followed by that orange headed TWIT that cannot even spell and grammatically write a proper sentence without butchering the language on Twitter. This b*itch Nimrata Haley is paid by the state of Israel just like they bribed this other smut across the Atlantic and British PM Priti Patel. The orange headed Orangutan who is POTUS will soon meet his Waterloo when the FBI, the Justice Department , Robert Muller’s special prosecutor’s office and the Senate Intelligence Committee plays their TRUMP card. That will shed more light of Russia-Gate just like the Watergate scandal that oustered Nixon.

  • 4
    0

    India voted for the resolution. Interesting to see what the fould mouthed Donald Duck, his Barbie doll Nicki the red neck hicky and Rexie the low IQ’d state secratary will act if they are to walk the talk of their boss’s threats? If the US makes one mistake by cutting the IT trade and services with India, and if the latter retaliates, the US tech sector will be cripple. This will be pie in the face for Donald the douchbag. All this cowboy rhetoric is bluff by the US because they know that banging heads with the Indians will mean that any US economic gain will be lost, the stock market will crash and Donald Duck will not have a platform like Twitter to vent and rant. The entire world can have peace and quiet as we did for 11 minutes from an incident that happened a few weeks back when Trump’s Twitter account was disababled by an employee. Looks like the USA itself is heading for a intertnal revolution to liberate the country from this presidential lunatic. The world itself will be a safer and better place for all of us if this scoundral is chased out of the Whiete house and check into a nut house.

  • 3
    3

    Had a good laugh reading this hilarious childish tantrum by the lefty loons who quote more lefty loons to support their fantasy world view. The reality is US can decide where they want to put their embassy and it makes logical sense to have it where the government is. All this show is to keep the poor masses (like the author of this article) fooled that UNSC has real teeth. At best it’s comparable to an old grandma with dentures threatening to bite you! With out the influence and contribution of the US the rest of the world will be living in a socialist stone age.

    • 3
      2

      I didn’t laugh at LANKA Don but was amazed at how puerile he can become. So the US can decide where they want to put their embassy and whther that decision is morally incorrect or not, it I is right because the US has the fire power. Unfortunately for the world there are fucking idiots like LANKA Don who cannot think for themselves and would support the village bully for instance merely because the rest of the village have no courage to take the bully on. Priceless logic, and the gall to air it publicly!

  • 3
    2

    @Lanka Don,
    If these readings are ‘childish’ then you must be a kindergartener living in a fantasy world. ‘Tantrums’ are not readings they are meltdowns when children are emotionally distressed. If a child’s tantrums make you laugh Don, then you must be a sick B*STARD who doesn’t understand another person’s emotions or sentiments. This is the problem with Trump’s intransigence. I agree that the USA has made contributions to the world. I don’t deny that. But how has US foreign policy helped any nation other than Israel? This is what Mr. Harees is driving at. Do you know that the US has invaded 38 countries within the last 50 years by waging proxy and cyber wars, CIA covert war to topple other countries? How many communist or leftist countries can you name that have invaded another country, attacked countries using drones or bombed countries to the stone age? Also Don, according to Bernie Sanders, socialism would be good to America that is an now an Oligarchy. This is according to a Princeton University study that has gone unchallenegd. Under Trump, the USA is worse off and is a Kakistocracy. The USA sponsors terror and defends Israel because they profit from war and human misery. Also, war is a smoke screen or creates deceptions to cover up domestic political doom and win the flawed sense of patriotism when its suited at a time of election. Neo conservative Right are too dumb to develop the USA hrough virtuous means using global trade and fair play. Given an equal playing field, the Japanese, China, South Korea, Indians, and others are not anymore the copy cats that they were once were. These countries now invent, innovate, R&D, design and manufacture their own for a price that the US cannot compete. This is the primary reason as to why the USA continues to bully their competitors because the only edge that the USA has is in human destruction and that too in her military and defense industry.

  • 3
    0

    After the formation of Israel, the Israelis worked hard to build a Nation of their own. They should have declared Jerusalem as their capital immediately after they defeated Egypt in the six days war. Moreover, upon an examination of the history of Jerusalem, Israelis have a lawful claim on Jerusalem. One cannot put the clock back. It has to start from where it stopped. Hence after the annexation of the Eastern Jerusalem, there is no reason to deny Israelis’ claim of Jerusalem as its capital. It should not be forgotten that more than 60% of the Jews are living in Jerusalem.

  • 1
    0

    @Percy & @WalaGemba Raja,

    Thanks for more hilarious rant to add to the article. Enjoyed laughing out loud reading your assumptions and conclusions. It’s a bit like being entertained by a dog barking at the moon. Looks like we live in an alternate universe.

    Why would you have so much venom spewing out over this issue which doesn’t have any impact for Sri Lanka. Can we get similar passion and activism to spread minority rights in Sri Lanka? Is Sri Lanka going to respect the UN and follow their orders and hold human rights hearing? If a small country like SL doesn’t feel they are bound by the rulings of the UN, what would you expect from a larger super power?

    Why would you get so wound up in a toothless UNSC resolution and get worked up for what? Where the US embassy will be located in Israel is no ones’ business other than the governments of the US and Israel. Where does the real government work of Israel happen? Tel Aviv? No…. They have been functioning out of Jerusalem for years and all the other governments (including the US in the past, deal with the Israelis in Jerusalem and have a sham embassy for show in Tel Aviv. What the recent orders by Trump has done is to admit and expose the elephant in the room. (Part 2 to follow)

  • 1
    0

    Part 2

    @Percy & @WalaGemba Raja

    One more point about your accusations that the US has invaded 38 countries in the last 50 years. Do you know how the world would have shaped if they didn’t? How many of your corrupt dictators will still be in power and oppressing millions of people? How many more millions of people in various countries are free today to pursue their dreams and travel and learn and prosper because the US took out those tyrants and systems of oppression like they used to have in the old soviet block countries and still going on in N. Korea, Iran and few other places around the globe?

    No system is perfect, and US and the west has many faults, but you have to look at things in the balance. Also the US and the west does everything to the best interest of their own world view and their allies and not what the others want them to do. I wouldn’t expect anything less from any decent government to do what is best for their people. In spite of what you read in the media, and in spite of all the unrefined tweets and clumsy rhetoric from Trump, he is doing what the people want and country is economically roaring to new heights unlike anything we have seen in recent years.

  • 0
    1

    LANKA Don, Iam tring to make some sense out of your drivel. I have little time for idiots who applaud a country for invading and destroying other countries.You seem to justify the invasion of Iraq,Libya, Syria and destroying their centuries old cultures. The world would definitely have been a better place without corrupt dictators running those countries as they do now. I think Iam wasting my time on some stupid jackass who seems to adore Trump.

Leave A Comment

Comments should not exceed 300 words. Embedding external links and writing in capital letters are discouraged. Commenting is automatically shut off on articles after 10 days and approval may take up to 24 hours. Please read our Comments Policy for further details. Your email address will not be published.